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Executive Coaching
by Lucille Maddalena, Ed.D.


Today’s executive coaches support a businesses’ top producers: coaching is no longer a tool relegated to help correct underperformance.  It is a crucial step to retaining good employees. By helping employees to succeed, they are more fulfilled by their work and achieve greater job satisfaction which should result in lower turnover.

FAST COMPANY’s Jim Bolt posted an article on coaching:

Mr. Bolt says: “Our findings in my firm's executive development surveys indicated a dramatic increase in the use of coaching: In 2004, 56% of the companies said that executive coaching would be a major learning method they would emphasize. Then in a 2006 follow-up survey, 51% said the use of coaching had actually increased”.

He offers these suggestions for making the most of your coaching experience:

  • Work hard, and smart.

  • Make sure your boss is supportive, and keep her/him involved.

  • Look for a great coach, but not your mirror image.

  • Measuring ROI: It’s about you.

  • Don’t drag it on.

Blot concludes his article with the statement:”one leader told us, “I would say if you have coaching done well, it can change your life, and your life as a business leader.” Well it’s crystal clear from comments like that, and this study, that for some leaders coaching provides a rich and unique development opportunity. For sure, it’s here to stay.”

Who Should be Coached?

Determining who will benefit from a coach requires an impartial evaluation of the individual and the environment. The individual must be willing to make the time commitment and accept the responsibility of working with the coach.

The fist step is to identify a goal for the coaching endeavor.  Those I coach often address issues such as developing interpersonal relationships, improving their ability to communicate, learning how to influence others, positioning themselves in a group and gaining respect from all levels in the organization.

But simply having a clear purpose won't guarantee coaching value, says Michael Goldberg. "You have to be open to feedback and willing to create positive change. If not, coaching may not be the answer."

Marshall Goldsmith, coach and author of nineteen books states that executives should seek coaching "when they feel that a change in behavior—either for themselves or their team members—can make a significant difference in the long-term success of the organization."

Coaching Topics

I find coaching most effective for an executive that is in transition and change, recently promoted, relocated or on-boarded. The task is focused on learning new approaches, developing new skills and evaluating old attitudes.  My clients state that they most appreciate being able to confidentially explore sensitive and personal key decisions with a trusted individual.  There is often a feeling that once an admission or declaration has been verbalized, even if only one person has heard the statement, it no longer carries any weight, dispelling any fear and allowing the individual the freedom to advance.

In addition to working with those in challenging new assignments, several of those I coach are seeking to expand their understanding and knowledge base.  For example, working with a young new hire forced one experienced manager to realize that what worked in the past was not working now.  As part of our process together, I recommended books, articles and programs that would bring the executive up-to-speed, and provide a basis for our discussion.

Truth Telling

Within a coaching experience, we typically reach a point where we share our personal stories.  Whether it is a series of life events that describe where we are today and who we are, we find a way to uncover how we recognize and accept what can only be described as the truth.

From this point of strength, we can evaluate our risks, determine our next steps and proceed to take the action that will bring us along the path to achieve our goals.


The Author

Lucille Maddalena

Lucille Maddalena, Ed.D. is an Executive Coach and Management Consultant providing management skill training, team building, meeting facilitation, conflict resolution processes, and group coaching programs. More than 6,000 managers have successfully completed her popular TRANSITIONS TO MANAGEMENT seminars. Her new workshop, TRAIL SETTING & STORY TELLING, guides participants to achieve life and career goals while clearly defining their own legacy through story telling. See Dr. Maddalena's recently published articles on her website or blogs: .

Many more articles in Coaching in The CEO Refresher Archives
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Copyright 2009 by Lucille Maddalena. All rights reserved.

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